Colombo: On Thursday, the Sri Lankan government reported more than 202 people were killed due to the torrential heavy rains caused by over the last few days. Out of the 15 districts that the rainstorm covered, , , , , districts were the worst affected.
The calamity struck the island country on 25-26 May. The rainfall recorded in some areas was as high as 553 mm. It caused the worst flooding in the country south of India in the last 14 years.
According to the figures reported by the Disaster Management Center (DMC) issued on Wednesday, at least 202 people have been confirmed dead while about 99 people were missing and 122 injured. The report said about 1,505 houses were destroyed and more than 7600 houses were damaged. More than 629,742 were affected and several people have been displaced to safe places, DMC stated.
As many as 8,00,000 people had to be evacuated from their houses and workplaces.
Sixteen countries including India, Russia, the US had offered food and relief medicines, Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday. On Monday, Red Cross said this was Sri Lanka’s since 2003. Police said the Panapitiya Bolgoda dam could collapse due to the heavy rains.
Sri Lankan laws allow construction of houses on slopes, which aggravated the crisis. On 31 May, the government, therefore, resolved to tighten the laws as the toll from the rains rose.
Nilwala Ganga, Kalu Ganga Gin Ganga and the Kelani Ganga were flooded. The Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Ratnapura Districts saw devastating landslides.
Despite the fact that these heavy rains were predicted by various meteorological departments, the Sri Lankan government had not taken precautionary measures to mitigate the impending disaster. According to the UN, the snapping of electricity supplies due to the rains is disrupting relief work in the affected areas. Sudden power outages at hospitals and health posts are hampering healthcare services, too.
The European Commission has pledged €300 000 to Sri Lanka for emergency assistance.
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